What more barbaric suffering does someone have to inflict on an animal before they are sent straight to jail

MEP Jonathan Arnott has called for tougher sentences to be introduced for animal cruelty.

His demand came after two young thugs from Redcar walked free from court after subjecting a defenceless dog to a persistent attack so horrific that even experienced RSPCA investigators were shocked and sickened.

Andrew Frankish, 22, was videod repeatedly hurling a terrified bulldog, called Baby, down a flight of stairs as well as head butting and stamping on it for fun encouraged by his younger companion, now 18.

“What more barbaric suffering does someone have to inflict on an animal before they are sent straight to jail? posed Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP for the North East.

“I am glad that they have been banned from keeping animals for life but I have no doubt that all right minded people think that a 21-week suspended sentence was insufficient punishment.

“I believe that the sentencing guidelines for animal cruelty need to be urgently reviewed and tougher sentences recommended, particularly as sadly we increasingly hear about such abuse and neglect.

“At present ‘unduly lenient’ sentences can only be reviewed for certain offences such as murder, rape, child exploitation and robbery amongst others.

“I think that the law should be changed to add animal cruelty to that list so that appropriate punishment is meted out to offenders, particularly when such torture has been inflicted as in the case of Frankish and his unnamed accomplice,” said Mr Arnott.

Anger over threats to Teesside steel jobs

Local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has reacted angrily to the threat to steel industry jobs in Teesside following Tata’s decision to sell off its UK business.

“These jobs, and others at sites elsewhere in the country, face extinction because of EU policies which have led to this tragic state of affairs.

“The USA has imposed anti-dumping tariffs of 266% on Chinese steel but we have just tinkered around the edges with only up to 25% which has not helped our workers one jot,” said Mr Arnott.

“Our energy costs are high thanks our ridiculous commitment to unreliable renewable power sources and while there are calls for state aid that is a dead duck as it is not allowed under EU state aid rules.

“Previous generations would find the collapse in the British steel industry totally unbelievable. It is wrong that our hands are tied by Brussels and our government is not prepared to put the livelihood of British workers before foreign red tape,” said Mr Arnott.

“Only by leaving the EU can we put the Great back in Britain but even after Brexit our government will need to take the right decisions; I fear it will be a race against time for our steelworkers,” he added.

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Claims by Nicky Morgan over jobs for young people ‘nonsense’

Claims by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan that voting to leave the EU would impact adversely on young people is “nonsense”, said MEP Jonathan Arnott.

In a speech today she is arguing that there has already been a drop in advertised job vacancies because of employers’ fears of a British exit from Europe.

“That is just scaremongering and ironically what will actually harm job prospects for both young and old is actually new legislation approved by the European Parliament,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP for the North East.

“This new law expands and strengthens the European job site, EURES, by making it mandatory that UK Job Centre Plus puts all jobs publicly advertised with them onto the site.

“Currently employers can voluntarily put vacancies on EURES but this new report means all public sector jobs will have to go on it.

“That is not going to help employment prospects for anyone including young people and I am particularly concerned as the North East has the highest regional unemployment in the country.

“Nicky Morgan talks of a vote to leave meaning a gamble with children’s and grandchildren’s future and that our influence as country would end at our shores. What absolute nonsense.

“The EU is in a state of economic decline while other countries are on the up, such as Brazil and India, and after Brexit we could sign our own trade agreements with whoever we chose.

“We must not forget our Commonwealth ties and freed from the grip of Brussels we can regain out independence and secure our future in the world,” said Mr Arnott.

Statement on the attacks in Brussels

UKIP North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has issued the following statement in the wake of the tragic attacks in Brussels.

“The tragic events of yesterday bring into sharp focus the battle between our way of life and those who would seek to destroy the freedoms that our nations have fought so hard to win. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Belgium, just as we stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of France after the attacks in Paris.

Yesterday, I was due to travel to Brussels and had to cancel my plans after the attacks. Seeing pictures on my television of areas in Brussels and the airport where I’ve spent a lot of time brought it into sharp focus for me. Yet as the news continued to unfold, like many people I was unaware until this morning that a Hartlepool-born man was amongst those missing. My thoughts are with his family at this incredibly difficult time. This has provided a poignant reminder of how interconnected we are, and how we must all stand together in the face of evil.

As time continues to pass, my thoughts also begin to turn towards the future. It is right that the UK authorities should offer assistance to the Belgian authorities in the days and weeks that lie ahead. It is right that increased security should be in place at key transport hubs in the near future, partly because of the danger of copycat attacks but also because of the need to inspire public confidence.  However, we must not allow our way of life to be fundamentally undermined: to do so would be to hand a victory to terrorists.

It is a matter for the Belgian people to consider how their security services should evolve to meet this challenge. Whilst they have been criticised by some, it is not for me to point the finger of blame.  The UK should be prepared to assist in any way that we can.

As we look to the future, the nature of a borderless continent in the Schengen Area must now be called into question. One of the best protections from large-scale smuggling of people, weapons and explosives is the ability to make appropriate checks at national borders; in the absence of this, the protection of security becomes far more difficult.

We must be aware of the ways that Islamic State extremists are cynically exploiting the plight of refugees, abusing the principles of asylum and using the cover of large-scale migrations to smuggle terrorists into the continent of Europe. Their sickening callous disregard for those fleeing war and persecution is beneath contempt.

We must remain vigilant, secure our borders, continue to develop our intelligence services and, above all, recognise that the first duty of any government is to protect its citizens. Irrespective of politics, I call upon all of our representatives in Westminster to provide the resources necessary to ensure that terror is always defeated.”

Budget response

George Osborne’s announcement today about upgrades to the A66 and A69 have been given a cautious welcome by North East MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“I welcome this move but the million dollar question is when this is likely to come to fruition,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“The Chancellor spoke of making the Northern Powerhouse “a reality”. Really? And just when will the people in my constituency start to feel that reality?

“A study into improving the A66 between the A1 and the M6 in Cumbria and the A69 between Hexham and Carlisle commission by the Department of Transport last year is not even due to be completed till the end of this year. Even the traffic on congested sections moves faster than such bureaucracy.

“We in the North East are fed up with the lack of real commitment to the area. While these remote politicians give us the usual smoke and mirrors the unemployment rate in the region remains the highest in the land,” said Mr Arnott.

“I also find it ironic that the extra £700m pledged for flood defences is to come from a 0.5% increase on the tax on insurance premiums. That will affect householders and business owners whose premises were so badly affected by flooding and whose premiums will already be through the roof,” he added.

Mr Arnott also said that he was disappointed that nothing has been done to rectify the advantage that Scottish airports have over those in the North because of air passenger duty differences.

“Scottish airports can offer cheaper flights and consequently other airports, such as Newcastle, are struggling to compete as their hands are tied. I am disappointed that the Chancellor did not address this situation.”

Jonathan Arnott MEP calls for the release of Nick Dunn and his colleagues

The plight of Northumberland man Nick Dunn – imprisoned in India along with other pirate hunters – has been raised in the European Parliament in Strasbourg by his MEP Jonathan Arnott.

Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP, has been calling for the Indian Government for some time to review the case of the 29-year-old former paratrooper and five other British ex-soldiers.

And he has now again raised the subject in the European Parliament pushing for their immediate release. Mr Dunn, from Ashington, and his colleagues are awaiting an appeal hearing after being jailed for five years in January and bail has been refused.

“If – and it’s a big if – there was any wrongdoing, then surely the company should be held liable, not individual employees who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

He told the Parliament, “These men are highly-qualified security guards, who were doing a valuable public protection job, and I’ve seen those.  I have here copies of the export licenses which show the firearms were legally exported from the UK.

“I have nothing but respect for the Indian government’s fight against illegal firearms.  But in this case they have the wrong people. I call for the Indian government to urgently review this case, and to secure their immediate release.”